Or how to impress your friends and neighbors with minimal effort.
I experienced an ice cream shortage the other night which led me to mix a half-scoop of pumpkin with a scoop of chocolate. I wasn’t sure how it’d come out, but I now wonder why we can’t buy pumpkin ice cream with a chocolate swirl.
I loved the pumpkin pie spices with the chocolate, and so I naturally thought about how I could recreate this in some other form. The result is this fall harvest chocolate bark. Chocolate bark is a quick candy to make and with the right care can come out to be absolutely beautiful. Here’s how I made this.
Roast the hazelnuts at 275 degrees for 15-20 minutes. They burn very easily, so pull them out as soon as you start smelling them. Dump the nuts on a dishtowel and wait five or so minutes and rub them together inside the towels to get the skins off. And pop one or two of the warm ones in your mouth. They are SO delicious!!
I chopped those up using my food chopper and set them aside. Then I prepared my work surface with a sheet of parchment on a baking sheet and measured out my chocolates and other ingredients. You want everything ready to go.
The only trick to chocolate bark is tempering the chocolate so it comes out looking beautiful. There’s a lot of wonderful ways to do this. I like this reference from Serious Eats. I melted the semi-sweet chocolate on the stove in a bain marie (metal bowl over a pot of boiling water), using unmelted morsels to “seed” and temper the chocolate. I stirred in the pumpkin pie spice at the very end. I melted the white chocolate in the microwave.
When everything was ready to go, I spread the semi-sweet chocolate onto the parchment with an offset spatula and then dribbled the white chocolate over top. Now, here’s the fun part, take a bamboo skewer and draw little circles around the white chocolate to create a marbled effect. It’s pretty addicting, but try not to overdo it.
Then, sprinkle the rest of the toppings on top and lightly press them into the chocolate. Let it cool on the counter for about an hour. If you want to cut it into neat squares, do it now. If you want to break it up into irregular pieces, put it in the fridge to finish hardening, then just break it up.
Chocolate bark makes a wonderful thank you or hostess gift. And it looks impressive with minimal effort. Enjoy!
- 8 oz good quality semi-sweet chocolate
- 4 oz good quality white chocolate
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts, roasted, skinned, and chopped
- Lay out a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
- Melt and temper semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler or using another method.
- Melt white chocolate similarly.
- Spread out the melted semi-sweet chocolate on the parchment, using an offset spatula to spread it out evenly to about 1/8-inch thick.
- Use a spoon to drizzle melted white chocolate across the semi-sweet.
- Use a bamboo skewer to create a marbled effect with the white chocolate.
- Evenly sprinkle cranberries and hazelnuts across the chocolate and lightly press them with your hand.
- Let cool on the counter for one hour and cut/break into desired pieces.